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Pioneer F-93

AM/FM Digital Synthesizer Stereo Tuner (1991-96)

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Pioneer F-93


Type: Mono/Stereo Tuner

Tuning Bands: FM, MW

Tuning Scale: Digital

FM Tuning Range: 87.5 to 108 MHz

MW Tuning Range: 530 to 1700 kHz

Sensitivity: 1.0uV (FM), 150uV (MW)

Signal to Noise Ratio: 88dB (FM), 50dB (MW)

Distortion: 0.25% (FM)

Selectivity: 85dB (FM), 40dB (MW)

Frequency response: 20Hz to 15kHz (FM)

Output: 1000mV (FM), 220mV (MW)

Dimensions: 457 x 105 x 352mm

Weight: 6.5kg

Year: 1991


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Reviewed Feb 13th, 2016 by BigSel4000

Agree with others. Unjustly condemned. Not flakey. Just complex. With good source stations, excellent sound quality, and the last word is flexibility with its range of inputs and outputs.

Reviewed Jan 29th, 2014 by RTM

Unjustly vilified. Listen first.



re: F-93

I apologize for not giving a better review. I don't remember being "hurried" but I must've been.
In the often-cited Stereophile review (where it was dumped in with a couple of other longtime favored Brit and American "Reference Tuners") it was recommended with "faint praise" as being the "least good sounding" tuner of the bunch, but still rating a Class "C" (along with the slightly less refined, both in build quality and sound) F-449.

It did this while pretty conclusively trouncing every competitor (including the Day-Sequerra) introduced or compared to it.
It seems that where the review went wrong appears to be that an American "iconic" designer who appears to have disliked being out-engineered from "over there" refused to look at one when it was offered up for "modification" by that (acknowledged) acclaimed engineer. That review was not the Stereophile review, but if you string the timeline together, there is at least an anecdotal apparent "cause and effect" at work.

It is COMPLEX. It's not the tuner you want to go into and start twisting pots inside as a first-timer. (But it can be aligned if you take a Hippocratic "first do no harm" approach to it.) It's best features include being able to fine-tune in 10khz increments and an ultra-wide audio FR. (Most particularly in the Bass region. It's a BIG room tuner....) The AM/FM ersatz stereo "simulators" are wasted buttons and (for me) are never used. But if there's a station within 150 miles that doesn't have another station close by sitting right on top of the same frequency (and you have a good antenna/rotor preamp system-and maybe an M-D 205 Signal Sleuth) it will come as close to working reception miracles as ANY tuner I've ever owned. The sound is TERRIFIC, btw. Fully the equal to my F-28. It might only better my samples of the TX's 9800, 9500 II, F-91, F-449 and F-90, but IF so, not by much. There haven't been any serious incursions on the TX-9x00 series level of audio quality since then really, so listen first and reach your own conclusions. Its dynamics are to be envied if it has a good signal. I am partial to the "classic" Pioneer house sound. Personal preference always plays a role. But in terms of "performance", the F-93 is outstanding in the adjacent channel rejection (Super Narrow mode), separation, S/N and Dynamic Range arenas. The most unkind thing said about it in the Stereophile review was that it sounded very slightly worse than the direct CD feed. (A problematic comparison for a variety of reasons.) Any Bob Carver fan knows that Stereophile's objectivity did occasionally move off of the center point during those years. I think this was a case of the same thing. (Phase Linear, Carver, and Pioneer were all aligned at the business level towards the end of that "Classic silver" era, btw.....). I acknowledge that this review is not dispassionate, but what this tuner accomplishes versus what it goes for in the auction marketplace are SEVERELY out of alignment with each other. As I said earlier: Listen first.....and judge for yourself. It's a classic and it's underpriced. I own two (along with more tuners than I'll use for the rest of my life) and they'll NEVER go up for sale. I'm no fan of Digitally synthesized tuners, but this, the F-91, F-90 and F-449 are pretty darn good. They go against the "single-chip" FM sound stereotype grain.

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